I've always thought the comparison of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones was ridiculous, they are two completely different entities. For those of us who are old enough to remember, the real rivals of The Beatles during the early days of the second British Invasion were The Dave Clark Five, and time has certainly favored the former of the two in that battle of the bands. The thing that really bothers me though, is the stereotype of the Stones as the rockin' bad boys and The Beatles as charming pansies. So, let's test that theory with these performances from the 60's (and I promise I won't even bring up "Helter Skelter"). I think the Stones' performance is completely live, while the Beatles video has live vocals and the instruments on tape.
The Rolling Stones: "Lady Jane."
And now, "Revolution," from The Beatles:
So, that's that. There is even a new book by John McMillian called, Beatles vs. Stones, which I haven't yet read, but plan to. By the way, I'm not trying to take anything away from the Stones. I think their (Jagger and Richards') observations on society and class were more acute than The Beatles' ("19th Nervous Breakdown," "Mother's Little Helper,"even "Satisfaction"). But after the firing and death of Brian Jones, the Stones sort of became their own tribute band, especially after Sticky Fingers.
Oh, and here are the real contenders, Ladies and Gentlemen: The Dave Clark Five!!